Tag Archives: penis

The words we use

I made a conscious decision when my daughter was very little that I was going to use the ‘real’ words for body parts.  We do say ‘boobs’ instead of ‘breasts’ (no real reason why) and ‘bum’ instead of ‘buttocks’ (just because I think ‘bum’ is close enough and I don’t feel like it’s a cutesy euphemism as much as the substitute words for other parts).

My reasons for this are varied.  For Lane, I feel like comfort with her body is a helpful protection against being a victim of sexual abuse.  I think of my own uncomfortable interactions with doctors, where I have had serious trouble seriously using those ‘real’ words for my own body parts.  Overall, though, their bodies are their bodies, and what purpose does having code words for body parts really serve?  I’m sure Lane’s use of words like “penis” in mixed company has raised an eyebrow or two among present adults, but I decided that Lane’s appropriate vocabulary is more important than assuaging their discomfort at perfectly legitimate and appropriate words.

As my kids are getting older and we interact with more families with small kids, it’s becoming glaringly apparent that I am in the minority in having a daughter that knows what labia and penis and scrotum mean.  There are lots of kids out there that have doobers or peters or wieners, and hoohas or girly parts or flowers.

I found this article, which really illustrates the huge range of words families use instead of the ‘official’ words.  It also made me realize my kids have never heard the words “defecating” or “urinating”.  I’m not sure if I’ll go there… maybe when they’re a little older and “pee pee” and “poop” start seeming a little infantile for their vocabularies.

So I bring all this up because I’m just generally curious — what do you say, and why do you say it?


Sesame Place day 2, and the rest of the day, too

Lack of sleep put little damper on the fun, suffice it to say.  We had a really good time.  Jake completely crashed in the stroller around 4:30 and stayed crashed until we loaded him into the car at 6:00.  We went out to dinner at Red Robin (first time for most of us, in every way it was a better experience than TGI Friday’s) and Lane crashed about two minutes into our car ride home and slept the full two hours of the trip, waking only a couple miles from home.  So now, she is watching Family Guy with Frank… something that happens a little too much than I really care for, but as I decreed yesterday, Frank sucks.

To be fair, I am not always a stellar parent either.

After we got home, we got Jake to bed and Lane and I took a long bath together, which we don’t do too often and I usually use as an opportunity to have a Q & A about our bodies.  I just let her ask me any questions she has about how bodies work or about body parts.  We talked about why I have boobs, and that she might grow a baby in her belly when she’s a grown-up like me, and how food turns into poop and juice turns into pee-pee, and why boys only have one penis and how she’ll never have a penis because she’s a girl, and why Mike Wazowski only has one very big eye.

I love having these conversations with her, but they sometimes bring forth a mindset that creates very interesting talks later on…

Shortly after the bath, Lane walked into the bathroom while Frank was peeing, and she then came out and we had the ensuing conversation, somewhat paraphrased but pretty close to the original:

Lane:  “Daddy has a penis too.  A REALLY BIG penis.”

Me, after a pause to suppress a peal of laughter:  “Yep, Daddy has a penis because he’s a boy, like Jake’s a boy.”

Lane: “Jake has a little teeny tiny penis.”  This sentence is said in a cutesy little voice with accompanying hand gestures.

Me: <stifling insane giggles> “That’s all true.  Daddy is a lot bigger than Jake.  Daddy’s nose is a lot bigger than Jake’s nose, too, right?”

Lane:  “Yeah… Daddy’s penis is a lot bigger than Jake’s.  Someday Jake will be bigger and his penis will be bigger, right?”

Me:  “Yep, Jake is going to keep getting bigger, just like you keep getting bigger.  Someday he’ll be as big as Daddy.”

Lane: “And he’ll learn to go potty on the toilet, too!”

Me:  “He sure will.  (to Frank, who is still in the bathroom)  Are you overhearing this conversation, Frank?”

Frank: (muffled through bathroom door) “Yes, unfortunately.”